Manchester City's European exit can be a title boost, says Mancini

LONDON Wed Dec 5, 2012 4:02pm IST

Manchester City's manager Roberto Mancini watches the warmup before the Champions League Group D soccer match against Real Madrid at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England November 21, 2012. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Manchester City's manager Roberto Mancini watches the warmup before the Champions League Group D soccer match against Real Madrid at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England November 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester City's dismal exit from European competition is not an embarrassment and could boost the big-spending club's defence of the Premier League title, according to manager Roberto Mancini.

City's haul of just three points from six games was the worst performance by an English club in the Champions League group stage with Mancini's men finishing bottom of Group D and failing to qualify for the Europa League as well.

Newspaper headlines on Wednesday spoke of City as "The Worst Ever" and dubbed them "320 million poundflops".

Mancini saw a silver lining in Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, however.

"Clearly this can help us win the Premier League because we don't play in the Europa League," he told reporters. "But getting into it was our target. We wanted to win."

City are currently second in the Premier League, three points behind Manchester United and seven clear of third-placed Chelsea, the European champions who are in danger of going out of the Champions League on Wednesday.

United, who travel to City for a league derby at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, have already secured first place in Champions League Group H.

Had City qualified for Europe's second tier competition, which awaits the third-placed clubs after the Champions League group stages, they could have faced up to nine further European matches on top of domestic fixtures.

"I'm not embarrassed about where we have finished or the points tally," said Mancini of City's failed European campaign and second successive exit at the group stage.

"There could be embarrassment if we had not played with 100 percent effort. You can still play 100 percent and lose, and that is what happened."

Mancini recognised that City needed to regain their sharpness in front of goal after scoring just seven times in six group games.

"At the moment we are not scoring goals, certainly not like we were last season. We are creating chances but we are not scoring," he said.

"That is a big problem that we need to work at." (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Patrick Johnston)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

TENNIS

Reuters Showcase

Formula One

Formula One

Hamilton gives Rosberg the Spa treatment.  Full Article 

'Lion King' Returns

'Lion King' Returns

South Korea set for return of 'Lion King' - report.  Full Article 

Tough Job

Tough Job

I have gone from 'king of Manchester' to 'devil' - Van Gaal.  Full Article 

Sprained Ankle

Sprained Ankle

Neymar a doubt for Barca season opener with ankle sprain.  Full Article 

Motor Racing

Motor Racing

Rossi feels closer than ever to racing in F1.  Full Article 

In Defence

In Defence

I'm not racist or sexist, says apologetic Mackay.  Full Article 

FIFA Top Job

FIFA Top Job

Pragmatic Platini unlikely to enter FIFA race.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage